Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Updated : Rafizi: MRT project may balloon to RM100 billion

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli today claimed that the country's MRT project may balloon to RM100 billion, close to three times its initial estimate.

"I've been talking to people inside the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD)... they're now talking about the RM100 billion mark. The initial figure bandied was around RM37 billion and then it was RM50 to RM60 billion," he told a press conference at the PKR headquarters in Putrajaya this morning.

NONEWhen asked whether he had evidence to back the claim, Rafizi (right) replied: "I'd rather jump the gun when it comes to projects like this".

"MRT is going to be largest public expenditure spending and debt that the rakyat has to incur. It is important that we study everything on MRT to ensure that it is done properly, otherwise the debt will enslave the country for two to three generations," he said.

He added that it was difficult to provide conclusive figures as as public infrastructure projects such as the MRT was conducted in ways that were shrouded in secrecy and managed in "cloak and dagger" style.

"I rather be the bad boy and throw out this figure to put the government on the defence on this number now bandied in the market. Prove to us whether it's true or otherwise in the interest of controlling the price of the project.

"If you continue to allow them sole discretion without public scrutiny there will be a repeat of what had happened (in past projects)," he said.

Rafizi added that he had raised a red flag over the matter for early scrutiny in hope that the project will not end up like the Ampang LRT line extension project, which he claimed was awarded to a non-qualified consortium.

The MRT project has three lines extending 150km and is part of the Government Transformation Programme aimed at improving public transportation.


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